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16 Important Maritime & Shipbuilding News Roundup that happened in 2018

Happy new year!

As we march into a new year 2019, let’s take a look back at some of the most interesting news in the industry this past year:


WORLD TRADE: Port of Halifax’s massive year-to-year growth

First big news in 2018 is that Port of Halifax reported that the port set a new annual record in both containerised and cruise volumes in 2017. This is a very significant increase by over 16% (559,242 TEUs vs 480,722 TEUs in 2016). Cruise industry in Halifax also has a 23% increase in overall passenger counts. All in all, this is a significant growth and is looking to trend in the positive direction for the foreseeable future.


ANNOUNCEMENT: Singapore launches new plan ITM to strengthen nation as Global Maritime Hub

Singapore’s MPA introduced a new plan called the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in Jan 2018,which made it into our Top 6 SHOCKING news of innovation in 2018 that will shape the future of maritime article. The goal is to grow the sector’s value-add by SGD 4.5 Billion and create more than 5,000 jobs by year 2025.


SHOCKING NEWS: Disappearance of Union Maritime Tanker in Gulf of Guinea

On a shocking news reported 14th Jan, MT Barrett, a product tanker which was at anchor off Benin, West Africa, is said to be missing. The tanker has not been heard from since late on Tuesday 9th January. On 18th Jan, it has been reported that the tanker was hijacked and has been released then. The authorities in Benin, Togo, Nigeria and India has been involved in this piracy incident. Fortunately, all crew are safe.



SHIPBUILDING: New Hurtigruten Hybrid-Powered Cruise Ship Launched

Built for Hurtigruten (Norwegian cruise line), the MS Roald Amundsen was launched at Kleven Yards on the 17th February 2018. MS Roald Amundsen is:

  • 140m in length
  • 23.6m in width
  • able to accomodate 530 passengers
  • able to lower fuel consumption & Carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20%, made possible using hybrid tech combined with advanced hull design and efficient electricity consumption.


SHOCKING NEWS: Djibouti Terminates DP World’s Contract for Doraleh

After much drama with the London Court of International Arbitration clearing DP World of misconduct charges in previous February, the Republic of Djibouti has, in Feb 2018, decided to proceed with the unilateral termination with immediate effect of the contract with DP World for its Doraleh Container Terminal.

Doraleh Container Terminal will now be directly under authority of “Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company”, 100% owned by government.



SHIPPING NEWS: Heung-A Shipping and Sinokor Merchant Marine Integrate Container Businesses

In March 2018, Pulse News have reported that South Korean shipowners Heung-A and Sinokor are in talks to merge their shipping (container) operations. This is part of the entire long-term strategy aimed to restore confidence in South Korean shipping companies since the collapse of Hanjin. Sinokor and Heung-A together account for aobut 34% of Asia’s total fleet capacity excluding HMM & SM Line.

On a side note, Korea Shipping Partnership (KSP) is an alliance of 14 liner operations, launched in August 2017 under state sponsorship.


SHOCKING NEWS: Fire accident on Maersk Honam burned for more than a month

A serious fire broke out in the cargo hold of the Danish-flagged Maersk Honam on March 6th (Tuesday), at 15:20 GMT, when it was en route from Singapore towards Suez. The fire continued to burn for more than a month until April when it was finally put off.

Salvage operation is led by Smit Salvage & Ardent. You can read more about the Maersk Honam fire incident at various news outlets here and here



INNOVATION: ABB Electric Taxi “Seabubbles” Demo in Lake Geneva

“Seabubbles” is a water taxi concept that promises zero waves, zero noise, and zero pollution. Read more about it in Top 6 SHOCKING news of innovation in 2018 that will shape the future of maritime.



SHIPBUILDING: Hyundai Heavy Industries Posts massive Q1 Loss in 2018

A decrease in work volume across segments has caused this reported loss in Q1. Net loss for (Jan-Mar) of 2018 came at KRW (est.USD$ 123 million) against last year’s profit of KRW 114 billion. This largely contributed by impairment losses from the shutdown of Gunsan dockyard, Green Energy business as well as costs from canceled vessel projects that hit KRW 9.7 billion. The foreign exchange loss adjustment also amounted to KRW 55.6 billion.

Reports state that at the end of March 2018, Hyundai Heavy Industries’ order book stood at USD$ 2.7 billion, significantly down from the initial USD$ 13.2 billion target. Moving forward, the Group plans to focus its R&D activities at meeting the strict environmental regulations such as the Ballast Water Management Convention and 2020 Sulphur Cap. Read more HERE.


TANKERS: Weak Tanker Market Hurts Sovcomflot’s Earnings, Posting Loss in Q1

Hyundai is not the only one suffering in performance. Though in a different industry segment, the Russian state-owned shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) also ended the first quarter of this year in loss.

The company posted a net loss of USD$ 16.1 million in Q1 2018, compared to profit of USD$ 39.9 million in the same period in 2017. Nikolay Kolesnikov, CFO of the company claimed that the tonnage supply and demand in the crude oil & petroleum products shipping segments are under downward pressure on freight rates so it remains extremely challenging for the company. News reported on WorldMaritimeNews outlet.



GLOBAL NEWS: Japan Protests China Gas Drilling Vessel in East China Sea

Japan has protested to China for allowing a gas drilling vessel to operate in disputed waters in the region. It is good to note that back in 2008, Japan and China actually had talks to jointly develop gas fields in this particular region but talks have since stopped. Because the maritime boundary between Japan & China has not been fixed in the East China Sea, this region is a sensitive region to unilaterally explore.


SHOCKING NEWS: Odfjell Tanker Spills Oil in Rotterdam Port after Collission

Reports state that the incident occurred on 23rd June about 1:40pm local time. During berthing, the bow Jubail accidentally made contact with the jetty. The hull was ruptured, hence some 217 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (HFO) were spilled at the port. Emergency response team was able to limit the spill and cleaning operations were performed. Fortunately, most of the oil was safely recovered, claimed by the authorities.



SHIPBUILDING: This is the Largest U.S.-Built Containership 


‘Daniel K. Inouye’, built at Philly shipyard, is the largest containership ever built in the United States of America. Named in honor of Hawaii’s late senior U.S. Senator.

  • Built with LNG-compatible engines. Proudly dubbed the next generation of vessel and sets a new standard for cargo transportation in Hawaii.
  • The vessel weighs over 51,400 metric tons, is about 260m long and has a capacity of about 3,600 TEUs.
  • Top speed of nearly 24 knots.
  • Various innovative systems are built into the vessel to be more fuel efficient.


SHOCKING NEWS: Eight Boxes Fell Off APL Antwerp in Norfolk

On 28th July while the ship was conducting offload operations at a terminal in Norfolk, Virginia, eight container boxes fell off the cargo ship. Reports claim that three of the boxes are lost in the sea as they have sunk too deep.


SHOCKING NEWS: Surge in July Armed Robbery Incidents in Asia

Reports by Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC in August concluded that in the month of July in 2018, we witnessed a big surge in Asian armed robbery maritime incidents. Total seven incidents were reported in Asia. To put things into perspective, there was only one incident in June 2018.

ReCAAP added that “two occurred on board ships while underway and five on board ships at anchor/berth. One was a CAT 2 incident and six were CAT 4 incidents.“.


INNOVATION: Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative Launched

Industry leaders and non-profit the Sustainable Shipping Initiative announced the launch of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative’s (SRTI) online platform – a tool for sharing information on ship recycling to drive responsible practice.


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